News Story

Cobourg Mormons Host “An Evening in Bethlehem”

Members of the Cobourg, Ontario, congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began celebrating the Christmas season on December 4 and 5, 2015, when they hosted their 10th annual “An Evening in Bethlehem.”

The evening began with a musical program featuring area Mormons along with a handbell choir from Trinity United Church in Cobourg. Trinity’s Jubilate junior youth handbell choir performed on December 4 and its adult handbell choir performed on December 5. (Trinity United Church’s chancel choir has previously participated in the annual event.)

Cheryl McFarlane, director of the youth handbell choir and a member of the adult handbell choir, was thrilled that both groups were invited this year. “It’s really important for the youth to get out there and be exposed to other churches and what they do for our communities and how they meet the needs of their congregation. It’s wonderful for the kids to be a part of this.”

Following the musical presentation, the audience was invited to view the largest display of nativity scenes in Northumberland County. A total of 306 nativity scenes were set up in the cultural hall and throughout the building. Nativities came from countries all over the world, including Chile, Germany, Kenya and Peru, and were loaned to the event by local Church members. Others were fashioned by local artisans.

Guests were asked to bring a non-perishable food item as admission to the event. All items were donated to Food 4 All Northumberland, a non-profit centralized food distributor servicing the needy of Northumberland County.

After they viewed the nativities, guests mingled and enjoyed refreshments in an area that had been decorated to look like a Bethlehem market.

Kristina Bergen, chair of this year’s planning committee, has been involved in “An Evening in Bethlehem” since it began 10 years ago. “After the first year, which was quite humble, we realized we had something beautiful to offer. We extended it and really took the time and effort to make it extraordinary. And we feel — each one of us that works on it every single year — that this is our gift to the Saviour. This is a way that we can give back to Him for all that He gives to us.”

The worldwide Church’s Christmas initiative, A Savior Is Born, focuses on finding, knowing and following the teachings of Jesus Christ during this time when Christians worldwide celebrate His birth.

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